Wednesday, April 20 – 1 Corinthians 15:9-11
For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain, but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
In the hiring process, a crucial element for prospective employees is meeting job qualifications. Companies look for the right person who has the education or experience to fulfill the job requirements when they are looking for a new hire. But if we bring this mindset into matters of faith, we quickly realize how unqualified we are. There is no amount of experience or education that qualifies us to receive the righteousness of God! When we feel this way, we are in good company. Even Paul, who wrote most of the books in the New Testament, felt unworthy. Paul acknowledged in this passage the impact the grace of God had in his life. The grace of God changed an unworthy man into an equipped follower of Jesus. The grace of God changed a persecutor into an evangelist.
It can be tempting to give up when we don’t feel worthy of God’s calling on our lives. On the other hand, we may take pride in all the things we have done for Jesus. But because of the grace of God, it is not about us either way. It is not ours to brag if we succeed, and it is not ours to quit when we feel like we don’t measure up. When you speak about accomplishments in your life, do you speak like Paul, acknowledging the grace of God? When you look at your shortcomings, do you look at them in light of God’s grace that can equip you despite all of your failure? When this is our perspective, we are free to proclaim the gospel because we know its power has nothing to do with our strength. Instead, our testimonies being an example of what to do or not to do become a beacon of hope that it is the grace of God that makes all the difference.
- When have you felt tempted to give up in pursuing God’s call on your life? When have you been tempted to boast in your works for God?
- How does the gospel challenge and encourage you personally in each of these areas?
- Pray and thank God for His grace that covers our failures and is greater than all our accomplishments.